Lunesta-Zopiclone Addiction and Abuse
Lunesta-Zopiclone is a sleep medication, commonly prescribed for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep-related disorders. The drug provides a range of benefits that motivate its abuse. It allows for uninterrupted deep sleep, which can improve your energy levels and mental activity after you wake up or the next day.
If you’re experiencing difficulty falling (and staying) asleep, you can take Lunesta-Zopiclone in prescribed doses. Though the drug is an effective treatment for insomnia, it is often misused in order to experience a euphoric feeling of being ‘high’. Lunesta-Zopiclone is also abused because of the drowsiness and calm feelings it induces.
Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse is rampant and extremely dangerous, as it can lead to addiction. The withdrawal symptoms associated with Lunesta-Zopiclone can also be severe, which is why it is never recommended to take the drug without a doctor’s prescription. If you or someone you know is struggling to overcome an addiction to Lunesta-Zopiclone, know that there is professional help available and you can find the best treatment centre for your needs.
What Is Lunesta-Zopiclone: An Overview
Lunesta-Zopiclone is a sedative, also known as a hypnotic drug. It is used in the treatment of insomnia and can help you fall asleep faster. If you suffer from sleep disturbances, Lunesta-Zopiclone can aid more restful sleep for a longer period of time.
The medication affects chemicals in your brain to create relaxing and calming effects, which help you sleep better. Usually, Lunesta-Zopiclone is not taken for more than a period of two to four weeks. It can also be taken for a short time (two to five days) and may help form a new sleep routine.
Within hours of taking Lunesta-Zopiclone, you can begin to feel its effects, which can cause you to become dependent if used for more than a month. If you attempt to stop taking the drug after prolonged use of Lunesta-Zopiclone, withdrawal symptoms can take hold.
The Chemical Components of Lunesta-Zopiclone
Lunesta-Zopiclone is a derivative of pyrazine, piperazine and pyridine, and is used as a sedative and hypnotic in the treatment of insomnia. It is a nonbenzodiazepine, with both sedative and hypnotic activity, but Lunesta-Zopiclone is able to bind to the same sites as benzodiazepines to activate the actions of GABA and produce both therapeutic and adverse effects.
The problem of insomnia is caused by the imbalance in the brain in terms of its chemical composition. Lunesta-Zopiclone performs the function of restoring the balance by altering the chemical components of the brain.
Medical Use of Lunesta-Zopiclone
Insomnia and poor sleep are quite common, but in most cases, they don’t last long. It can mean that you wake too early in the morning, wake up and cannot fall back to sleep for long periods during the night, or that you have difficulty getting to sleep. Lunesta-Zopiclone and other sleeping aids can be prescribed for short-term treatment to help with periods of insomnia.
Lunesta-Zopiclone reduces the time it takes for you to fall asleep and helps you stay asleep for as long as your body needs to recharge healthily. This medication functions by affecting the way messages are sent to your brain, helping you sleep. Lunesta-Zopiclone is not normally prescribed for more than four weeks, and will usually work well in the short-term.
It only takes a short amount of time for your body to become used to Lunesta-Zopiclone, after which it may not have the same effect. Your body can also become dependent when you’ve taken Lunesta-Zopiclone for an extended period of time. This is why doctors should be notified in any change of your perception of the medication as soon as you notice it.
Risk of Lunesta-Zopiclone Abuse
Even though it’s classified as a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic, Lunesta-Zopiclone still possesses many of the inherent risks of similar drugs, including abuse and addiction.
Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse also causes intensified feelings of impairment, as it affects alertness and memory. The morning after taking the drug, you may experience some dizziness and be unable to perform normal tasks like driving. Other risks of abusing Lunesta-Zopiclone medication include sleepwalking and performing tasks that you’ll have no memory of doing the next day.
Sedative-hypnotic drugs like Lunesta-Zopiclone function by depressing some of the nerve firings in the brain that are related to the stress response, which subsequently can keep you awake if taken out of schedule. Worsening depression or anxiety are also risks of Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse. The medication can slow down heart rate and lower blood pressure and respiration levels, which could be very dangerous.
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The Legality of Lunesta-Zopiclone
A controlled substance in the United States, Brazil, Japan and some European countries, Lunesta-Zopiclone is highly regulated and intended for short-term use, mainly because of its significant potential for abuse. It is illegal to possess the medication without a prescription and can’t be purchased over-the-counter, although addicted people continue to find ways.
Lunesta-Zopiclone is listed by the US Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means that it has a high potential to cause abuse and addiction. Despite this, there are no indications of possible physical dependence, according to initial studies by the manufacturer. However, in the UK, the medication is available only on prescription and the NHS states that we can become dependent. Here we classify Zopiclone as a Z-drug (benzodiazepine-like drugs). The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 now added Zopiclone and Zaleplon, sedatives closely related to the benzodiazepine family of drugs and zolpidem, to the controlled list as Class C drugs.
Lunesta-Zopiclone Abuse and Addiction: Signs, Effects & Symptoms
With long-term usage, Lunesta-Zopiclone can be habit-forming. You might continue taking the drug even when you no longer have a genuine medical reason, or without a doctor’s prescription. This is considered a form of abuse. Abusing Lunesta-Zopiclone increases the potential risks, including the odds that you’ll suffer from a mental or physical impairment.
Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse can cause erratic and out-of-character behaviours, such as increased depression, agitation, aggression, suicidal thoughts, and confusion. Anytime you chew or crush up the drug to snort it, your risk of adverse signs and symptoms increases, as it does when combining Lunesta-Zopiclone with alcohol and other substances.
Dependence, cravings and withdrawal symptoms are often signs of addiction. When you’re addicted to Lunesta-Zopiclone, you’re unable to control how much and how often you take the drug. Many other social, behavioural, financial, emotional and physical consequences can also result from abusing or being addicted to the medication.
How addiction develops: Who is most at risk of abuse?
Lunesta-Zopiclone causes tolerance to build, even when you take it according to a doctor’s prescription. With regular use, your body becomes accustomed to the regular dose. This means you’ll need to increase the dosage in order to fall asleep. Usually, Lunesta-Zopiclone is prescribed with the lowest dose of 1 mg, though the highest recommended dose possible is 3 mg. In the UK, Zopiclone itself comes in as much as 7.5 mg, which should usually be taken once before going to bed.
Therefore, there’s not much room to increase the dose before you reach the recommended safety limit. Since your body has become accustomed to higher doses each time the effects wear off, you could continue to increase your dosage and even go higher than the limit.
If you have a history of substance abuse or mental health disorders, you could be at great risk of Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse. You can also be at risk of abuse if you experience feelings of nervousness and depression; have worrying thoughts; even if you are in receipt of a valid prescription for the medication.
Lunesta-Zopiclone has a high potential for abuse, dosage escalation and dependence. Generally, it is abused orally and intravenously and can be combined with alcohol in order to achieve the desired ‘euphoria’. Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse occurs when it is used for recreation or as a way to avoid withdrawal symptoms against medical advice.
Abuse leads to a range of side-effects, which are usually uncomfortable. As a sedative, Lunesta-Zopiclone relaxes your body and induces sleep. It, therefore, has a relaxant effect on your entire body, including your mind and other major organs.
When this drug is abused, the extent to which this sedative effect takes hold on your body can be dangerous. In many cases, you could overdose and fall into a coma or stop breathing. Without adequate oxygen supply, it only takes a few minutes for internal organ damage to occur.
How is Lunesta-Zopiclone abused?
The main reason for abusing Lunesta-Zopiclone is to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep for as long as required. Lunesta-Zopiclone is used by a high percentage of mainly females as a sleep aid. Most people who abuse the medication tend to also abuse prescription benzodiazepines. Lunesta-Zopiclone functions like a benzodiazepine medication, even though it’s not in the same class of drugs.
The sedative qualities of Lunesta-Zopiclone make it perfect for use if your body simply won’t rest, or if you find yourself tossing and turning at night without being able to sleep. However, using more than the recommended dosage or continuing to take it longer than necessary is considered abuse.
Lunesta-Zopiclone is also abused to get ‘high’. Because it can produce a euphoric effect when taken in large doses, it can be combined with other drugs to increase the effects. Lunesta-Zopiclone is also abused to cope with insomnia caused by other substances. Differing sleep aids can also be abused on top of Lunesta-Zopiclone, which seriously heightens the risk of dangerous outcomes.
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Signs and symptoms of Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse
There are different signs to look out for when trying to determine whether someone you know is abusing Lunesta-Zopiclone. If abuse or dependence is present, you might notice some of the following: elevated blood pressure, panic attacks, tolerance, more difficulty falling asleep without taking the drug, weight fluctuations and mood swings, sweating, muscular pains, nausea, vomiting, inability to cut back or quit, using to avoid withdrawal, bouts of hiccups, irritable moods and a compulsive desire to take the drug.
In addition, your loved one could begin to avoid social activities and neglect to spend time with peers or family.
Any use of Lunesta-Zopiclone that is not considered medically necessary can be regarded as abuse. If your loved one is abusing this medication, they could begin to exaggerate their insomnia symptoms in order to ensure the doctor prescribes them more of the drug. ‘Doctor shopping’ is another sign of Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse, whereby multiple doctors are visited in order to source numerous prescriptions.
Physical, emotional and social effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse
There is a wide range of physical, emotional and social effects that occur when you abuse Lunesta-Zopiclone. While these vary from one person to the next, you might notice abnormal sleep patterns, unexplained weight loss, memory loss, somnambulism or the inability to stay awake during the day.
A change in social behaviour can include them losing interest in activities they used to enjoy. They might also discard current friends for a new social circle, usually made up of other drug abusers. Staying out late is also another social effect that can occur with Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse, if unusual for your loved one before they started using.
Lunesta-Zopiclone can also cause emotional effects such as constant mood disturbances. Whilst under the influence of the drug, your loved one might appear calm. However, after getting ‘high’ on Lunesta-Zopiclone or experiencing withdrawal, they can become angry over minor issues or display excessively violent behaviour towards family members and friends.
Long-term effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse
One major long-term effect of taking Lunesta-Zopiclone is building tolerance. This means that to feel the effects of the drug, you need to take higher or more frequent doses. In addition, if you’ve been taking Lunesta-Zopiclone for a long time – especially without a doctor’s recommendation – you can begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Some of them include rebound insomnia, nausea or vomiting, shakiness or tremors, stomach cramps, nervousness, irritability, mood swings, anxiety and flushing.
After using Lunesta-Zopiclone for a long time, you might want to quit. Your prescribing doctor can also advise you to stop in order to avoid the intense effects of abuse. They can then create a plan to reduce your dosage over time and help you quit. This is known as tapering – you can be weaned off the drug, whilst reducing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Short-term effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse
The most common short-term effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse include ongoing grogginess the next day, dry mouth, drowsiness or difficulty waking up in the morning, headache, dizziness, runny nose, cough and other cold-like symptoms. Somnambulism can also occur.
The short-term effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone are worsened when the medication is mixed with alcohol or recreational and illegal drugs. There’s a possibility of not completely waking up from sleep the next day. This puts you in danger when driving or operating heavy machinery.
Typically, you could feel alert and awake for the most part, but can still suffer sleep-related hallucinations and other effects. It’s therefore essential to stringently follow a doctor’s prescription to avoid the unpleasant effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse.
Lunesta-Zopiclone Abuse: Facts and Statistics
- Individuals who use sleep aids (even in a manner prescribed by a doctor) have at least a 25% risk of being involved in an automobile accident whilst driving.
- Patients using prescription sleeping medication on a regular basis were almost five times as likely as non-users to die after a period of two and a half years.
- Over 31 million prescriptions have been written for Lunesta-Zopiclone since the drug was introduced to the market in 2004.
- Lunesta-Zopiclone is one of the major polydrugs, which means it is usually taken in combination with other substances, such as alcohol.
- According to the CDC, almost 9 million people take prescription sleep medications, such as Lunesta-Zopiclone.
Lunesta-Zopiclone Abuse in the UK
The abuse of prescription drugs is an increasing problem across the UK. This is because it’s easy to believe that misusing or abusing prescription drugs will not result in severe consequences, as with other substances. However, abusing prescription medications can lead to results similar to the effects incurred from street heroin abuse.
British distribution services have taken serious measures to maintain a reliable schedule and control over Zopiclone distribution. Some have even created special documentation to support their anti-addiction measures.
A 2010 document by Dr Vanessa Crawford states that about 40 to 50 British people die each year due to Zopiclone (or Zolpidem) poisoning, usually in combination with other medications or drugs.
A study published in the BBC states that in 2010 there were nearly 5.3 million prescriptions dispensed for Zopiclone in England only.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Lunesta-Zopiclone affect the brain and body?
Lunesta-Zopiclone is a sedative-hypnotic medication that affects chemicals in the brain that can be unbalanced if you have sleep problems. After taking it for an extended period, your body can become used to the effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone.
How dangerous is Lunesta-Zopiclone abuse?
Lunesta-Zopiclone is a medication with a high potential for abuse. When taken for a longer duration than necessary, an addiction can develop. Lunesta-Zopiclone also causes some severe and sometimes dangerous side effects, especially when taken in larger doses than recommended.
Can Lunesta-Zopiclone be used legally?
The UK government lists Zopiclone as a Class C controlled substance, because of its high potential to cause addiction. However, the drug can be used legally if it is prescribed by a doctor, and you use it according to their recommendations.
Can I mix Lunesta-Zopiclone with other substances?
When adhering to a prescription, taking Lunesta-Zopiclone can provide temporary relief from insomnia. However, if you decide to increase your chances of falling asleep by taking the drug alongside other substances, that should be done only after discussing it with your doctor. Combining Lunesta-Zopiclone with other substances is hazardous. Alcohol and Lunesta-Zopiclone enhance the effects of each other, leading to a higher risk of dependence as a result.
What are the street names for Lunesta-Zopiclone?
Lunesta-Zopiclone is also referred to by street names, including A-minus, zombies, zombie pills, sleepers, sleepeasies, forget-me pill, Mexican Valium, roofies, rope, rophies, roche and R2.
What is Lunesta-Zopiclone?
Lunesta-Zopiclone belongs to a class of medications known as sedative-hypnotics and is used to provide symptomatic and short-term relief from sleep disturbances such as insomnia. It can help with constant early morning awakenings, frequent sleep disturbances during the night and if you have difficulty falling asleep.
How do people become addicted to Lunesta-Zopiclone?
With prolonged use, tolerance can develop and you could begin to increase your doses to achieve the same effects. Physical and psychological dependence can also take hold (both typical characteristics of Lunesta-Zopiclone addiction) if the medication is not taken under a doctor’s supervision.
What are the short and long-term effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone?
The most common short-term side effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone include headaches, dizziness, and an unpleasant bitter or metallic taste in the mouth. A more serious short-term side effect is somnambulism, where you might get out of bed whilst still asleep and hold a conversation, eat a big meal or even engage in sexual activity. Long-term Lunesta-Zopiclone use results in experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit. You could experience nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, as well as anxiety or mood swings.
Can I overdose on Lunesta-Zopiclone?
Lunesta-Zopiclone overdose is possible. It manifests in depressed respiratory function and excessive sedation that can lead to coma. Fatal Lunesta-Zopiclone overdose can occur when the medication is combined with alcohol, opiates or other central nervous depressant medications.
What are the medical purposes of Lunesta-Zopiclone?
The primary medical purpose of Lunesta-Zopiclone is for the treatment of a well-known sleep problem – insomnia. It can help you get a better night’s rest by allowing you to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods, as well as reducing the number of times you wake up during the night.
What are the side effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone?
Side effects of Lunesta-Zopiclone include pain, headache, loss of coordination, dizziness or lightheadedness, daytime drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting or heartburn. You should tell your doctor if any of these effects become severe and do not go away.
What are the dangers of taking Lunesta-Zopiclone?
Taking Lunesta-Zopiclone – especially alongside other drugs like opioids and benzos or mixing it with alcohol – can result in dangerously high levels of intoxication. It can also cause low heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, or blackouts.
Which drugs interact with Lunesta-Zopiclone?
Lunesta-Zopiclone interacts with different drugs, including antidepressants, antihistamines, antifungals such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) and itraconazole (Sporanox), olanzapine (Zyprexa), Nefazodone (Serzone) and Clarithromycin (Biaxin). Drugs for anxiety, mental illness or seizures can also interact with Lunesta-Zopiclone, in addition to certain HIV protease inhibitors like nelfinavir (Viracept) and ritonavir (Norvir).
Who should not take Lunesta-Zopiclone?
You should not take Lunesta-Zopiclone if you don’t plan on having at least seven hours of sleep. The drug should also not be taken if you drink alcohol regularly or are taking certain dietary supplements. In addition, Lunesta-Zopiclone should be taken with care if you are 65 years or older. Also, if you plan on getting pregnant or are already pregnant, you should talk to your doctor before taking Lunesta-Zopiclone.
What is Lunesta-Zopiclone overdose?
Lunesta-Zopiclone overdose occurs when the drug is taken in high doses or combined with other substances. It can lead to coma, brain damage or even death. You can become unconscious and unresponsive, with extremely low heart rate and poor blood circulation.
Does Lunesta-Zopiclone show up on urine drug tests?
If you’ve only taken it a day or so ago, Lunesta-Zopiclone will more than likely show up on a drug test. However, a regular dose should completely leave your body within 36 hours.
What is Lunesta-Zopiclone withdrawal syndrome?
There is no defined process for Lunesta-Zopiclone withdrawal. However, when you stop taking the drug (especially if you’re struggling with a Lunesta-Zopiclone addiction), withdrawal symptoms can occur. These include muscle pain, stomach cramps, weakness, shakiness, nausea, vomiting and unusual dreams.
How can I tell if I’m addicted to Lunesta-Zopiclone?
Lunesta-Zopiclone addiction is usually characterised by the feeling that you can’t live a normal life without the drug. You can experience symptoms such as increased blood pressure, rebound insomnia, sensitivity to the sun and changes in weight if you’re addicted to Lunesta-Zopiclone.
What treatments are available for Lunesta-Zopiclone addiction?
Lunesta-Zopiclone addiction treatments are offered on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The type of care provided usually depends on varying personal factors, such as how much support you have at home; how severe your abuse is; the presence of any pre-existing health problems; and the level of drug dependence. Therapy treatments are also provided to help you cope with stress and manage potential triggers for drug use.
How can I safely consume Lunesta-Zopiclone?
Lunesta-Zopiclone can be used safely as a short-term treatment. Generally, doctors will only prescribe the medication to treat short-term acute insomnia, because of its high potential for abuse and addiction.
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